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GP Super Clinics - The Cockburn Experience in the Development of an Integrated Service Model

Author:

Clory Carrello

Cockburn Integrated Health, Success, WA, AU
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Abstract

GP Super Clinics – The Cockburn Experience in the Development of an Integrated Service Model

Cockburn Integrated Health (CIH) was established in 2014 as part of the previous Commonwealth Labor Government’s GP Super Clinic Program and is one of 5 Super Clinics in Western Australia.

As with all the Super Clinics, CIH’s operations are guided by the Commonwealth Program objectives, with the aim being to establish integrated services which are responsive to community and consumer needs and maximise linkages with other health services both on site and within the region. 

CIH was established in line with the vision created in the WA Health Department Health 2020: A Discussion Paper (1998) report, specifically relating to the development of service hubs in the community which provide a range of services and have linkages with other part of the Health System, thereby breaking down some of the silos that exist in the delivery of healthcare to the community. 

The establishment of CIH is also in line with the strategies outlined in the Report of the Health Reform Committee, A Healthy Future for Western Australians (2004) which also outlined the need for community service hubs and the integration of services.

While there is a significant amount of literature on the efficacy of integrated service hubs, the experience in Western Australia is limited for a range of reasons, mostly around the cost and challenges that integration creates. CIH has now been operational for 5 years and we continue to remain ambitious in what we are trying to achieve for our community.  CIH has over 20 co-located services ranging from general practice, allied health, family support, employment and financial counselling services.  It has also established close linkages with the University sector through Curtin University, who provide a range of student led services for the local community. 

CIH is also co-located as part of a larger integrated hub, the Cockburn Health and Community facility, which also includes NDIS, pharmacy, radiology, dental, specialist medical, Centrelink and library services.  In total, there are over 30 complimentary services in the building, with the cost of service establishment exceeding $50m.

The service mix established at CIH and at the Cockburn Health and Community facility is unique and reflects local community needs. It includes Government, Not for Profit and Private Services which ensures that we can maximise access and linkages to low/no cost services for the financially disadvantaged in the community. 

Co-location does not however necessarily mean that integration of services will occur.  Our experience has been that although service providers have the right intent in terms of participating in the establishment of integrated service models, there are multiple barriers to this occurring that need to be addressed, ranging from financial, privacy, service quality and expertise, consumer choice, governance and coordination issues.  While we have made progress to achieving our organisational objectives and have learnt a significant amount about the realities of integration in a practice, the challenge remains to ensure we maximise the potential of what we have established in Cockburn.

How to Cite: Carrello C. GP Super Clinics - The Cockburn Experience in the Development of an Integrated Service Model. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;20(S1):62. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.s4062
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Published on 26 Feb 2021.

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